We learn more about Slack’s future, Revolut adds new payment features and DoorDash pushes its IPO range upward. This is your Daily Crunch for December 4, 2020.
The big story: Slack and Salesforce execs explain their big acquisition
After Salesforce announced this week that it’s acquiring Slack for $27.7 billion, Ron Miller spoke to Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield and Salesforce President and COO Bret Taylor to learn more about the deal.
Butterfield claimed that Slack will remain relatively independent within Salesforce, allowing the team to “do more of what we were already doing.” He also insisted that all the talk about …
Google fires a leading researcher, Stripe launches a new banking service and WarnerMedia shakes up the theatrical business model. This is your Daily Crunch for December 3, 2020.
The big story: Google fires co-lead of its Ethical AI team
Timnit Gebru, a leading researcher in the field of ethics and artificial intelligence, tweeted last night that Google fired her in response to a message she sent to an internal email list.
Casey Newton obtained the email in question, in which Gebru expressed frustration with her treatment at Google and disappointment at its diversity and inclusion efforts: “We just had a Black research …
An Amazon Web Services outage has a wide effect, Salesforce might be buying Slack and Pinterest tests new support for virtual events. This is your Daily Crunch for November 25, 2020.
And for those of you who celebrate Thanksgiving: Enjoy! There will be no newsletter tomorrow, and then Darrell Etherington will be filling in for me on Friday.
The big story: Amazon Web Services stumble
Amazon Web Services began experiencing issues earlier today, which caused issues for sites and services that rely on its cloud infrastructure — as writer Zack Whittaker discovered when he tried to use his Roomba.
Amazon said the issue …
Roblox opens its books, Snap makes an acquisition and Pfizer and BioNTech seek regulatory approval for their vaccine. This your Daily Crunch for November 20, 2020.
The big story: Roblox is going public
The child-friendly gaming company filed confidentially to go public in October, but it only published its S-1 document with financial information late yesterday.
How do the numbers look? Well, Roblox is certainly growing quickly — total revenue increased 56% in 2019, and then another 68% in the first three quarters of 2020, when it saw $588.7 million in revenue. At the same time, losses are growing as well, nearly quadrupling to $203.2 million during those same three quarters.
The company also acknowledged that its success depends on its ability to “provide a safe online environment” for children. Otherwise, “business will suffer dramatically.”
Apple is making a big shift in App Store fees, Duolingo raises more funding and Pfizer releases updated vaccine results. This is your Daily Crunch for November 18, 2020.
The big story: Apple cuts App Store fees
Apple is cutting the 30% fee it normally charges for App Store transactions to 15% for some developers — specifically, those who, after Apple’s commission, earn less than $1 million per year.
The company estimates that this will impact the “vast majority” of apps, with more details about eligibility coming in December, before the change takes effect on January 1. Apple has faced increasingly vocal criticism over these fees from companies like Epic Games (whose founder Tim Sweeney compared Epic’s legal battle to “civil rights fights”), and the issue has also come up during antitrust hearings.
“The App Store has been an engine of economic growth like none other, creating millions of new jobs and a pathway to entrepreneurship accessible to anyone with a great idea,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a statement. “Our new program carries that progress forward — helping developers fund their small businesses, take risks on new ideas, expand their teams, and continue to make apps that enrich people’s lives.”
GitHub defies a takedown order, Strava raises a big round and Moderna reports promising COVID-19 vaccine results. This is your Daily Crunch for November 16, 2020.
The big story: GitHub reinstates YouTube downloading project
Back in October, the Recording Industry Association of America sent a DMCA complaint to GitHub over a project called YouTube-dl, which allows viewers to download YouTube videos for offline viewing. According to the trade group, YouTube-dl both circumvented DRM and, in its documentation, promoted the piracy of several popular songs.
However, the Electronic Frontier Foundation sent GitHub a letter criticizing the RIAA’s argument and suggesting that, among other things, it mischaracterizes how YouTube-dl’s code actually works.
In response, GitHub has restored the project’s code. It also says it’s rethinking how it will handle takedown notices in the future, with a new $1 million developer defense fund and the response of technical and legal review of any future claims filed under section 1201 of the DMCA.
This update, which was first announced five months ago at WWDC, includes a number of design changes that continue to blur the line between macOS and iOS.
One of the big additions is the Control Center, an iOS/iPadOS feature that presents a translucent pane down the right side of the screen. Meanwhile, Safari added features like built-in translation. And app icons and sounds have been updated throughout.
Brian Heater has been using the beta since June, and he concluded that Big Sur “boasts some key upgrades to apps and the system at large, but more importantly from Apple’s perspective, it lays the groundwork for the first round of Arm-powered Macs and continues its march toward a uniformity between the company’s two primary operating systems.”
Currently, Google Photos allows users to store unlimited images (and HD video) as long as they’re under 16 megapixels. Starting on June 1, 2021, new photos and videos will all count toward the 15 gigabytes of free storage that the company offers to anyone with a free Google account.
Google says it will take the average user three years to reach 15 gigabytes — at which point they’ll either need to delete some photos or pay for a Google One account. Also on June 1: Docs, Sheets, Slides, Drawings, Forms and Jamboard files will start counting toward your storage total as well.
Apple announces “One More Thing” before the holiday season, Uber lets you reserve rides 30 days in advance and Spotify makes another podcast acquisition. This is your Daily Crunch for November 10, 2020.
The big story: Apple unveils new Macs
During an unusually brief and focused “One More Thing” event, Apple announced three new Macs that will all use the M1 chip, its first chip for Macs. This is the beginning of a previously announced shift of the Mac lineup to Apple silicon.
What about the actual Macs? Well, there’s a new MacBook Air, which still costs $999 but is supposed to be 3.5x faster than the previous generation — and it doesn’t include a fan! There’s also a new Mac Mini with a base price of $699, and a 13-inch MacBook Pro that starts at $1,299.
To be clear, it’s not a regular TV channel but rather something you access on Netflix’s website. But like a broadcast or cable channel, it ditches streaming’s on-demand side. Instead, you watch whatever movie or TV show is playing right now.
Netflix previously tested a Shuffle button, so apparently it’s very interested in exploring a viewer experience where you just turn the TV on and veg out. The service says it’s testing this in France because “many viewers like the idea of programming that doesn’t require them to choose what they are going to watch.”